Nova Scotia

Regrets, they have a few: Meet the Halifax student behind @Trump_Regrets

Erica Baguma's Twitter account, @Trump_Regrets, has been retweeting posts from angry and disillusioned Americans who voted for U.S. President Donald Trump and wish they could take it back.

Erica Baguma started retweeting regretful Trump voters just for fun and now has 118,000 followers

The two-month-old website @Trump_Regrets has 118,000 followers. (CBC)

Regrets, they have a few, and a university student in Halifax has been cataloguing hundreds of them.

Erica Baguma's Twitter account @Trump_Regrets has been retweeting posts from angry and disillusioned Americans who voted for U.S. President Donald Trump and wish they could take it back.

The account has attracted more than 118,000 followers in the two months since Baguma, a social anthropology student at the University of King's College in Halifax, started it. Hundreds of people have commented on the retweets, with many saying it is reassuring, infuriating or both to see how voters are reacting.

Baguma told CBC News she started the Twitter account strictly to amuse herself.

"It was sort of for fun," she said. "It was just announced that Trump wasn't going to be indicting, or pursuing charges, to indict Hillary Clinton on her email server. And I was really curious to see what his followers thought of that since, 'Lock her up!' was such a big campaign chant and pledge."

Biggest complaint

She said she was surprised to find many tweets from people who were feeling betrayed for numerous reasons.

"The biggest complaint is that he's not acting presidential," she said. "His tweeting is embarrassing his followers. They can't really defend him. They all thought he would start being more professional after the election. 

"So that's definitely the one that keeps coming up, and then the rest of them sort of come and go in waves. There was Hillary Clinton and the Dakota Access pipeline."

Baguma, who is Canadian, said she would never have voted for Trump, and already considers his term a catastrophe. But she says she's learned a lot of good things about his supporters now that she's reading their tweets several times a day.

Good intentions

"I found that the population is a lot more diverse than I expected," she said. "I really didn't have a good picture of why people were voting for him, and so of course that was part of why I started it. Because I'd never met a Trump supporter. And a lot of his supporters really had good intentions.

"A lot of them were really naive and sort of thought all of the racism and misogyny was just bluster, but really he wanted what was best for the American people. A lot of them really didn't educate themselves on all of his positions and were sort of single-issue voters, like against Obamacare, and stuff like that."
Erica Baguma tries to ensure the people she retweets aren't harrassed. (Erica Baguma)

She said she doesn't want the people she retweets to be harassed. Baguma said she reaches out occasionally to see how Twitter users feel about her Twitter feed, takes down retweets by request and blocks anyone being abusive. "It's a fine line between joking around and bullying," she said.

Baguma has enjoyed the attention from high-profile Twitter users. Readers with huge followings include writer and producer Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty) and billionaire investor Chris Sacca. Baguma was so excited when actress Rosie O'Donnell followed the account that she called her mother.

And how long does Baguma intend to keep the account going? "As long as the regrets keep coming."